News & Events

NAC presents Mary Vingoe’s Some Blow Flutes – May 5

Mary Vingoe reading Some Blow Flutes

Tuesday May 5th, 7:00 pm AST

https://www.facebook.com/events/2563835620541438/

Mary Vingoe will do a livestream reading from Some Blow Flutes as part of the National Centre for Arts’ #CanadaPerforms series. Donations to help support the Eastern Front Theatre will be accepted.


Inspired by a quote from the I Ching about how we respond to tragedy – “Some weep, some blow upon flutes” – Mary Vingoe’s play is the story of Costas, an elderly Greek shoe repairman whose wife Elena suffers from dementia and whose marriage has been eroded by a family secret. Costas is in denial of his wife’s illness, but Lia, their teenage granddaughter who cares for her grandmother, is not. Costas’ life is altered when Sandra, a professional organizer who cannot begin to organize her own life, enters his shop. An unlikely, at times humorous friendship develops between the two – until we discover that Sandra’s estranged daughter Marijke is fourteen and pregnant. A chance meeting between Elena and Marijke leads to an unravelling of past lives and buried grievances which play out with unexpected results. Some Blow Flutes brings the issue of dementia into the open and explores the possibility of compassion and redemption in the face of overwhelming odds.

Spring 2020 Book Preview

Coming Spring 2020:

The Runner
by Christopher Morris
Scirocco Drama
available now

Z.A.K.A is an Orthodox Jewish volunteer force in Israel that collects the remains of Jews killed in accidents. When Jacob, a Z.A.K.A volunteer, makes the split-second decision to treat a young Palestinian woman instead of the soldier she may have killed, his world is changed forever. The Runner is a powerful thriller that explores the beleaguered psyche of a noble man charged with attending to the remains of harrowing acts of savagery.


Lo (or Dear Mr. Wells)
by Rose Napoli
Scirocco Drama
available now

Ten years ago, Laura was a student in Alan Wells’ English class. She was uncharacteristically smart for a fifteen-year-old – perceptive and vulnerable – a dream for a flailing teacher. Now, at twenty-five, Laura has written her first novel. She’s called it Dear Mr. Wells, and Alan is the first person she wants to read it. Weaving seamlessly from present to past, Lo (or Dear Mr. Wells) burrows in the grey areas of consent. A coming-of-age story, a love story, a vindication, Lo (or Dear Mr. Wells) examines a formative relationship that both corrupts and liberates.


Some Blow Flutes
by Mary Vingoe
Scirocco Drama
available now

Inspired by a quote from the I Ching about how we respond to tragedy – “Some weep, some blow upon flutes” – Mary Vingoe’s play is the story of Costas, an elderly Greek shoe repairman whose wife Elena suffers from dementia and whose marriage has been eroded by a family secret. Costas is in denial of his wife’s illness, but Lia, their teenage granddaughter who cares for her grandmother, is not. Costas’ life is altered when Sandra, a professional organizer who cannot begin to organize her own life, enters his shop. An unlikely, at times humorous friendship develops between the two – until we discover that Sandra’s estranged daughter Marijke is fourteen and pregnant. A chance meeting between Elena and Marijke leads to an unravelling of past lives and buried grievances which play out with unexpected results. Some Blow Flutes brings the issue of dementia into the open and explores the possibility of compassion and redemption in the face of overwhelming odds.


The Orchard (After Chekhov)
by Sarena Parmar
Scirocco Drama
available now

Sarena Parmar’s The Orchard (After Chekhov) is an adaptation of Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard, told through the lens of a Punjabi-Sikh family in the Okanagan Valley. With the bank calling and money low, will the Basrans be able to save their beloved orchard? The Orchard challenges our idea of what rural Canada looked and sounded like in the 1970s, offering a fresh perspective on our history, and a subversive look at ethnicity within the classical western canon. Inspired by the playwright’s own childhood, this fresh adaptation confronts life, loss, and the Canadian immigrant experience with humour and beauty. The Orchard (After Chekhov) premiered at the Shaw Festival.


Dragonfly
by Lara Rae
Scirocco Drama
available now

In this original and poetic new work, Lara Rae tells the raw and heartfelt story of her half-century long (and counting) gender odyssey. Dragonfly presents us with two actors, one male, one female, who illuminate the inner life of a trans woman from her Scottish childhood in the 1960s to the present day. Matching our inside to our outside is always hard, but for trans people it’s often a matter of life and death. Stripping away the visual cues that both define and imprison transgender people, Dragonfly is a call to all of us to forge creativity from chaos. So often, it is the external changes in trans lives that the world is exposed to and confronts. Here, as Lara says, is the “inside voice” of a trans child, ever present, ever demanding to be heard, ever rising upward, to growth, peace, security and love.

Group Book Launch – Toronto – November 25

 

Come celebrate the launch of our terrific 2019 Scirocco Drama titles: With Glowing Hearts (Jennifer Wynne Webber), Honour Beat (Tara Beagan), Jumbo (Sean Dixon), The Nails (Jason Maghanoy), The Fighting Season (Sean Harris Oliver), Les Filles du Roi (Corey Payette and Julie McIsaac), The New Canadian Curling Club (Mark Crawford), and Fierce: Five Plays for High Schools (with plays by Judith Thompson, Tanisha Taitt, Dave Deveau, Michael Kras, and Ali Joy Richardson). MC: The wonderful Marcia Johnson.

Fall 2019 Book Preview

Coming Fall 2019:

Let the People Speak: Oppression in a Time of Reconciliation
by Sheilla Jones, with a foreward by Sheila North
J. Gordon Shillingford Publishing
available now

Over the past fifty years, Canada’s Indigenous Affairs department (now two departments with more than 30 federal co-delivery partners) has mushroomed into a “super-province” delivering birth-to-death programs and services to First Nations, Inuit and Métis people. This vast entity has jurisdictional reach over 90% of Canada’s landscape, and an annual budget of some $20 billion. Yet Indigenous people have no means to hold this “super-province” accountable to them. Not a single person in this entity has been elected by Indigenous people to represent their interests. Not one. When it comes to federal Indigenous policy, ordinary Indigenous people in Canada are voiceless and powerless.

In Let the People Speak, author and journalist Sheilla Jones raises an important question: are the well-documented social inequities in Indigenous communities—high levels of poverty, suicide, incarceration, children in care, family violence—the symptoms of this long-standing, institutionalized powerlessness? If so, the solution lies in empowerment. And the means of empowerment is already embedded in the historic treaties. Jones argues that there can be meaningful reconciliation only when ordinary Indigenous Canadians are finally empowered to make their voices heard, and ordinary non-Indigenous Canadians can join with them to advance a shared future.


Fierce: Five Plays for High Schools
Edited by Glenda MacFarlane
Scirocco Drama
available now

A teenager is dead after facing sexual assault and cyberbullying. Two friends go camping, and one reveals a secret. A conflict between two band students erupts into violence. A young woman about to leave for university tries to hide a disturbing secret. A bereaved teen joins her school basketball team. Five new plays from some of Canada’s best playwrights reveal the passion, pain, humour, and hopes of young people in this exciting anthology for high schools. Included: Who Killed Snow White? by Judith Thompson, Out in the Open by Dave Deveau, A Bear Awake in Winter by Ali Joy Richardson, Admissions by Tanisha Taitt, and The Team by Michael Kras.


Jumbo
by Sean Dixon
Scirocco Drama
available now

In the early fall of 1885, P.T. Barnum’s Greatest Show on Earth toured southwestern Ontario, playing to sold-out crowds. On the bill, along with the snake charmer, the tightrope walkers, the contortionist, and the bearded lady, were 28 elephants, led by the world-renowned Jumbo. Between their stops in Guelph and London, the circus crews were packing up, and unscheduled freight train came hurtling down the track and ended the life of the most famous pachyderm in the world. A cast of larger-than-life characters brings the last performance of the legendary Jumbo to life.


Les Filles du Roi
by Corey Payette and Julie McIsaac
Scirocco Drama
available now

Les Filles du Roi (The King’s Daughters), a gorgeous new trilingual musical written in English, French, and Kanien´kéha (Mohawk), is the powerful story of Kateri, a young Kanien´kehá:ka girl, and her brother Jean-Baptiste, whose lives are disrupted upon the arrival of les filles due roi in 1665. They forge an unlikely relationship with young fille Marie-Jeanne Lespérance, whose dreams of a new life are more complicated than she could have imagined. Over the course of a year, Kanien´kehá:ka, French and English journeys collide, setting the stage for the Canada we know today. Payette’s music connects the heartbeat of the drum and the soaring voices of our female ancestors in a thrilling contemporary score, weaving three languages and rivalling the beauty of Canada’s most stunning landscapes.


The New Canadian Curling Club
by Mark Crawford
Scirocco Drama
available now

A Chinese medical student, a Jamaican Tim Horton’s manager, an Indian father of three, and a 17-year-old Syrian refugee walk into a curling club. It’s Monday night at a small-town rink and it’s the first-ever Learn to Curl class for new Canadians. Inspired by the local refugee resettlement program, community-minded Marlene organized this evening to welcome newcomers and “diversify the club.” But when she slips on the ice and breaks her hip, the club’s ice-maker, Stuart MacPhail—who also happens to be Marlene’s ex-husband—is forced to step in as head coach. Trouble is, Stuart has plenty of opinions about immigrants. What follows is the hilarious and inspiring story of a group of unlikely athletes who face off against the local prejudice and become a true team. Both laugh-out-loud funny and quietly moving, The New Canadian Curling Club is a new Canadian comedy with a heart as big as Canada itself!

Join Sheilla Jones for the launch of her book Let the People Speak – September 19

McNally Robinson Booksellers & J. Gordon Shillingford
are pleased to present

Sheilla Jones and Sheila North
launching
Let the People Speak: Oppression in a Time of Reconciliation

Thursday September 19, 7:00 pm
Grant Park in the Atrium, Winnipeg, MB


Over the past fifty years, Canada’s Indigenous Affairs department (now two departments with more than 30 federal co-delivery partners) has mushroomed into a “super-province” delivering birth-to-death programs and services to First Nations, Inuit and Métis people. This vast entity has jurisdictional reach over 90% of Canada’s landscape, and an annual budget of some $20 billion. Yet Indigenous people have no means to hold this “super-province” accountable to them. Not a single person in this entity has been elected by Indigenous people to represent their interests. Not one. When it comes to federal Indigenous policy, ordinary Indigenous people in Canada are voiceless and powerless.

In Let the People Speak, author and journalist Sheilla Jones raises an important question: are the well-documented social inequities in Indigenous communities—high levels of poverty, suicide, incarceration, children in care, family violence—the symptoms of this long-standing, institutionalized powerlessness? If so, the solution lies in empowerment. And the means of empowerment is already embedded in the historic treaties. Jones argues that there can be meaningful reconciliation only when ordinary Indigenous Canadians are finally empowered to make their voices heard, and ordinary non-Indigenous Canadians can join with them to advance a shared future.

Join musician Scott Nolan for the launch of his debut poetry collection Moon Was a Feather – April 5

McNally Robinson Booksellers & The Muses’ Company
are pleased to present

Scott Nolan
launching
Moon Was a Feather

Friday April 5, 7:00 pm
Grant Park in the Atrium, Winnipeg, MB


Singer, songwriter and musician, Scott Nolan’s debut poetry collection Moon Was a Feather reflects on a life well-considered. Poems that chronicle a difficult youth, experience with drugs, friendships, and music are interwoven with insights gleaned from the eclectic jumble of neighbourhoods and people he encounters on his long walks. Spare – eloquent with a healthy dose of grit – the poems of Moon Was a Feather are infused with the poet’s deep appreciation for the eccentricities of fate that life throws at him, and the love for music that helps him make sense of them.

Scott Nolan is a songwriter, poet, multi-instrumentalist from Winnipeg, Manitoba Treaty One territory, with nine albums to his credit. His songs have been recorded by Hayes Carll, Mary Gauthier, Watermelon Slim, and Corin Raymond, among others. Long an avid reader of poetry, Nolan turned to writing it in 2015, when he started walking ten kilometres a day in a bid to quit smoking. Nolan discovered melodies and rhythms in the shuffling of his feet, and began writing short poems inspired by reflections on his own difficult past, as well as about people and places in his neighbourhood.

Spring 2019 book preview

Coming Spring 2019:

With Glowing Hearts
by Jennifer Wynne Webber
Scirocco Drama
available April 2019

When the “Kirkland Lake gals of 1941” begin to share their story with a present-day audience, a siren sounds and they soon find themselves pulled right back into the fateful winter of 1941–42. There, they gather again at the mine-head, waiting for word on the men trapped underground, as their fear and rage builds. When the husband of one of the women is badly injured, their desire to help her quickly leads them into a much larger campaign to help all the families they can. Before long, they’ve become the heart and soul of a large-scale union-organizing drive that is fuelled by their sheer will—and sometimes giddy enthusiasm—but that is also put to the test by their own inexperience, a bitter strike, and the brutal force of the powers that be.


The Nails
by Jason Maghanoy
Scirocco Drama
available April 2019

Ally and Josh spend every summer with their father as he goes from small town to small town, working for a construction company in America. But this summer is different. This is the summer they grow up.

The Nails is a play about family. It is a play about faith. And it captures a world of freedom and extremism in all directions; love and cruelty exist within the same space here. And sometimes they feel like the same thing.


The Fighting Season
by Sean Harris Oliver
Scirocco Drama
available April 2019

Sean Harris Oliver’s The Fighting Season is a searing investigation into the Afghan War through the eyes of a Canadian field medic (Kristy), an OR surgeon (Terry), and a recovery room nurse (Karine). When all three medical professionals experience a life-changing event in the operating room of the NATO-controlled Role 3 Multinational Medical Unit at Kandahar Airfield, they are sent back to Canada for further evaluation. Through Kristy, Terry and Karine’s interwoven monologues we begin to understand the contribution that Canada’s medical teams made in Afghanistan, as well as the devastating impact that war has on the ones charged with saving lives.


Honour Beat
by Tara Beagan
Scirocco Drama
available April 2019

Two grown sisters face off over their mother’s death-bed. Together they confront one another, their own identities, and what will remain when their mom leaves this world. A contemporary look at the significance of faith and family, Honour Beat explores the stories this Indigenous family has told itself through the years, as their mother’s youthful spirit leads them toward forgiveness.


Moon Was a Feather
by Scott Nolan
The Muses’ Company
available April 2019

Evolving from a routine of long walks he began to help him quit smoking, Winnipeg singer, songwriter and musician Scott Nolan’s debut poetry collection Moon Was a Feather reflects on a life well-considered. Poems that chronicle a difficult youth, experience with drugs, friendships, and music are interwoven with insights gleaned from the eclectic jumble of neighbourhoods and people he encounters on his long walks. Spare—eloquent with a healthy dose of grit—the poems of Moon Was a Feather are infused with the poet’s deep appreciation for the eccentricities of fate that life throws at him, and the love for music that helps him make sense of them.